Migrating Away from a Seasonal Famine: A Randomized Intervention in Bangladesh
AbstractThe rural northwestern districts of Bangladesh, home to 10 million people, experience a preharvest seasonal famine, locally known as Monga, with disturbing regularity. Surprisingly, outmigration from the Monga-prone districts is not all that common. This research tests whether migration could play any role in Monga mitigation. We implemented a randomized intervention that provided monetary incentives to individuals in Monga-prone regions to seasonally outmigrate during the pre-harvest season. We experimentally varied the conditionalities attached to the incentives, such as a requirement to form a group and migrate jointly (as opposed to migrating individually), sometimes assigning migration partners and the destination, and varying group size. This paper reports just the first stage results of this randomized intervention project, where we focus on household responsiveness to our incentive offers in terms of their decision to migrate. Our cash and credit incentives had a very large effect on migration propensity: over 40% of those receiving an incentive choose to migrate, whereas only 13% of control households do. This large effect is consistent with the presence of savings or borrowing constraints for these households, since providing information on wages and employment conditions at destinations only has a negligible 2 percentage point impact on the propensity to migrate relative to the control group.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 19224.
Date of creation: 01 Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Monga; famine; Bangladesh; migration;
Other versions of this item:
- Shyamal Chowdhury & Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak & Gharad Bryan, 2009. "Migrating Away from a Seasonal Famine: A Randomized Intervention in Bangladesh," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2009-41, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), revised Sep 2009.
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
- R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-12-19 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2009-12-19 (Development)
- NEP-MIG-2009-12-19 (Economics of Human Migration)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Borrowing constraints and (seasonal) famines
by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-01-19 15:00:00
- Khandker, Shahidur R. & Khaleque, M. Abdul & Samad, Hussain A., 2011. "Can social safety nets alleviate seasonal deprivation ? evidence from northwest Bangladesh," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5865, The World Bank.
- Aker, Jenny C. & Clemens, Michael A. & Ksoll, Christopher, 2011. "Mobiles and mobility: The Effect of Mobile Phones on Migration in Niger," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 2, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
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